Orientation Donkersloot Tippett 2021
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John Donkersloot



Trauma Surgery Fellowship Graduating Class of 2022

Where are you from originally?

Zeeland, Michigan

Medical training:

  • Medical School: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • General Surgery Residency: St. Joseph of Mercy, Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • Critical Care Fellowship: University of Michigan, Mich.

Why Michigan?

I am a Michigan lifer! I stayed in Michigan because the training offered is excellent, and I wanted to stay close to family.

Why did you choose your specialty?

A. I chose General Surgery because:

  • I enjoy working with my hands and with my mind
  • This specialty gives the physician the ability to fix an acute problem and cure a given disease process
  • General surgeons have ownership of the entire patient under their care.

B. Critical care was the next choice, given that I enjoy human physiology and the minute-to-minute care of the critically ill patient.

C. Trauma was the next choice because it combined what I like about both general surgery and critical care.


I am married to another physician who is finishing up her general surgery residency. We have a son, Teddy, who is less than a year old and he is the joy of our lives!

When you're not working, what do you do for fun?

Host dinner parties, play the piano, play board games, and I am an aspiring woodworker!

About the Flint area:

I haven't had a chance to explore much, but am looking forward to getting to know more about the surrounding area!

What inspires you?

My family.

How do you keep in touch with family and friends?

I have a list of people to call and when I've called them last. I use the commute to keep in touch.


  • Book: The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Movie: Ocean's Eleven
  • Music: Beethoven
  • Restaurant: Wendy's

Favorite quotation:

Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

I enjoy the quote as it emphasizes the importance of attitude in life.

Top 5 favorite things about Michigan?

  1. Family being close by
  2. Lake Michigan!
  3. Small upstate lakes
  4. Cost of living is affordable
  5. Ann Arbor has great concerts that come into town

Special talents?

I am a former serious pianist who still enjoys playing. I enjoy the attention to detail that is required and that hard work is rewarded. I used to be a high jumper, but have since retired. I enjoyed the teamwork the camaraderie of being on a team; surgery is a big team sport.

Favorite ways to keep work-life balance manageable:

I try to do one thing for myself every day and make sure to keep in touch with family.